Disney is bringing Star Wars into the real world. At this year’s D23, the company announced that the brand-new Star Wars Land at Disney parks would be named Star Wars: Galaxy’s Edge, set to open sometime in 2019.
Now, in order to whet our appetite for this expansion, Lucasfilm and ILMxLAB have partnered with The VOID to create a "free-roaming virtual reality experience" that will place guests in the middle of an epic Star Wars battle. Titled "Star Wars: Secrets of the Empire," it's a VR “hyper-reality” experience that will debut this holiday season at both Disneyland and Disney World.
Curtis Hickman, co-founder and chief creative officer at The VOID, had this to say regarding the teamwork involved:
“At The VOID, we combine the magic of illusions, advanced technology and virtual reality to create fully immersive social experiences that take guests to new worlds. A truly transformative experience is so much more than what you see with your eyes; it’s what you hear, feel, touch, and even smell. Through the power of The VOID, guests who step into Star Wars: Secrets of the Empire won’t just see this world, they’ll know that they are part of this amazing story.”
Vicki Dobbs Beck, an ILMxLAB executive tasked with creating the attraction, added in a press statement:
“At ILMxLAB, we want people to step inside the worlds of our stories. Through our collaboration with The VOID, we can make this happen as guests become active participants in an unfolding Star Wars adventure. By combining Lucasfilm’s storytelling expertise with cutting-edge imagery, and immersive sound from the team at Skywalker Sound, while invoking all the senses, we hope to truly transport all those who experience Star Wars: Secrets of the Empire to a galaxy far, far away.”
The VOID has previously designed a similar "hpyer-reality experience" for the Ghostbusters franchise, titled Ghostbusters: Dimension. You can watch a teaser below:
When Will ‘Secrets of the Empire’ Take Place?
At this point, it’s tough to say where this virtual reality experience falls in the Star Wars timeline. Based on the concept art, it appears that it may take place sometime before or during the events of #RogueOne. The seven-foot-tall K-2SO gives this away, as he’s shown front and center in the promotional picture.
No matter what the timeline may be, I’m sure the teams have crafted a solid attraction that guests will enjoy. Disney and Lucasfilm have thus far done a fantastic job with the updates to their Star Tours attractions. While the ride itself may not be canon, the attraction does seem to place you right in the middle of the action.
#StarWarsSecretsOfTheEmpire looks to be unlike anything that we’ve seen before. All five of our senses will be explored here, and I cannot wait to see what they have come up with. This is one way to amp our excitement even more for #StarWarsGalaxysEdge.
Are you excited for Star Wars: Secrets of the Empire? Share your thoughts in the comment section below!